After serving as a Texas FFA state officer in 2018, Josh Witherspoon joined the iCEV team as a part-time employee for 3 years before taking on the role of content development specialist in 2022. Witherspoon holds a bachelor's degree in agricultural communications from Texas Tech University, in which his experience and proficiency in writing, marketing and CTE allow him to effectively communicate the successes of CTE educators and students and the value iCEV has to offer.
As a CTE teacher, you may be looking for a way to sharpen your students' professional communications and soft skills before they enter the workforce or pursue post-secondary education.
One way students can set themselves apart from their peers professionally is by earning the Southwest Airlines Professional Communications Certification. But what is this certification, and how can you ensure your students are successful on the exam?
In this article, you’ll discover three of the most common questions teachers ask about the Southwest Airlines Professional Communications Certification including:
What Is the Southwest Airlines Professional Communications Certification?
What Do My Students Need to Know for the Southwest Airlines Professional Communications Certification Exam?
How Do I Prepare My Students for the Southwest Airlines Professional Communications Certification?
By understanding the purpose and components of the Southwest Airlines Professional Communications Certification, you’ll be able to more effectively prepare your students to earn their credentials.
What is the Southwest Airlines Professional Communications Certification?
Soft skills are personal traits and abilities that help individuals communicate effectively, demonstrate professionalism, and develop healthy working relationships. In today’s workplace, soft skills are a vital employability skill necessary in every industry regardless of the career.
The Southwest Airlines Professional Communications Certification verifies that students who earn the certification possess the skills necessary to be successful in any workplace environment. The certification also validates the knowledge and skills it takes to communicate effectively, think critically, problem-solve and work with others.
What Do My Students Need to Know for the Southwest Airlines Professional CommunicationsCertification Exam?
The certification exam is weighted, meaning each industry standard tested for makes up a certain percentage of the total exam grade.
The certification exam consists of 100 questions based on weighted industry standards developed by Southwest Airlines. The standards are divided into six sections including:
English Language Proficiencies - (5%)
Interpersonal Communication Techniques - (20%)
Workplace Communication Techniques - (25%)
Written Communication Procedures - (20%)
Communication Theory - (10%)
Verbal Communication Procedures - (20%)
Each of the six industry standards is weighted to reflect how highly it is prioritized in the workforce. Because of this, learners should make sure to properly focus their time and energy preparing for the standards with a heavier weighted percentage.
The first industry standard focuses on the ability to use the English language to communicate both in spoken and written contexts.
The English Language Proficiencies Standard consists of the following topics:
By mastering this industry standard, individuals will sharpen their reading, listening, and vocabulary abilities to apply those foundational skills in a multitude of situations and environments.
2. Interpersonal Communication Techniques
The second industry standard assesses the process by which people exchange information, feelings, and meaning through verbal and non-verbal messages.
The Interpersonal Communication Techniques standard covers the following topics:
Individual Skills, Styles, and Roles in Collaboration
Conflict Management Techniques
Effective Leadership Styles
Interpersonal communication techniques improve an individuals personal and professional relationships by equipping them with the skills and tools needed to express their thoughts and emotions effectively.
After learning these strategies, individuals will be better equipped to collaborate in group settings as well as understand what they bring to a team.
3. Workplace Communication Techniques
The third industry standard focuses on exchanging information and using verbal, non-verbal, and digital means to communicate within an organization.
The Workplace Communication Techniques standard includes these topics:
Components of Workplace Communication
Digital Communication Technologies
Customer Service Techniques
Once individuals have mastered this industry standard, they will understand how to conduct themselves professionally when communicating both in-person and digitally. Individuals will also be able to apply valuable customer service techniques used across a multitude of industries.
4. Written Communication Procedures
The fourth standard assesses professional writing techniques, common written pieces used in the workforce, and processing received information.
The Written Communication Procedures standard features these topics:
Elements of Professional Writing
As writing drives communication and communication serves as a framework for society, learning how to write professionally and effectively is an invaluable skill. By understanding each of these types of writing, individuals will be more equipped to plan, produce, and share messages and content pieces in professional environments.
5. Communication Theory
The fifth industry standard focuses on the process and factors associated with transmitting information between a source and receiver.
The Communication Theory industry standard covers the following topics:
Communication Processes & Models
Communication Styles Overview
By learning these aspects of listening and communicating, individuals will be better prepared to more effectively converse with others through a wide variety of communication mediums.
6. Verbal Communication Procedures
The final industry standard covers professional presentation as well as speech strategies and techniques. In today’s modern workplace, public speaking and presenting information to large groups plays a substantial role in professional communications.
The Verbal Communication Procedures industry standard includes four topics:
Public Speaking Procedures
Extemporaneous Speaking Techniques
After mastering each of these areas, individuals will be better prepared to present information in an organized, understandable, and professional manner.
How Do I Prepare Students for the Southwest Airlines Professional Communications Certification?
Exposing and letting your students engage with the industry standards and concepts tested for in an industry certification is the best way to set your students up for success. To effectively prepare your students for the Southwest Airlines Professional Communications Certification, you need the right preparation materials to support their efforts.
iCEV offers a preparation curriculum for the Southwest Airlines Professional Communications Certification. These resources are specifically designed to help students effectively prepare for the certification exam.
Within the preparation course, you’ll find comprehensive, pre-built lesson plans, multi-media videos, slide presentations, projects and activities relevant to the certifications standards. In addition, learners have access to review materials and two practice exams to ensure they are ready for exam day.